The mathematics are in: The Detroit Red Wings have been eliminated from advancing to the playoffs for a sixth straight season.
The demise has been on the horizon, but it became official Saturday when the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals reached 88 points, ensuring the Wings cannot catch them for the second wild-card spot.
The Wings’ last trip to the playoffs came in 2016, when they lost in the first round. When the Wings were eliminated from playoff contention on March 28, 2017, it ended a streak that began in 1991, lasted 25 consecutive seasons and included four Stanley Cup championships.
EMPTY-NET FEELING: Wings leading NHL in one nefarious category as season sinks
The Wings were within six points of a wild-card spot in mid-February, though that was skewed by their advantage in games played. But the Wings had more wins than losses in regulation at the time, and for them to be fighting for a playoff spot was a refreshing contrast to recent seasons, when they were in the conversation for best draft lottery odds.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings eliminated from playoff contention 6th straight year